Family Photo

This is so nice I just had to share it. Tweeted by Nissan (@Nissan) earlier, this is fantastic publicity shot of its 1967 range. I have seen this image before in publicity material, but rarely in colour, and certainly not as large or as high quality as this. It’s interesting to note how there are a few left-hand drive American spec models in there, namely the Datsun 510, Roadster and 520 pickup. It is clear how the US was regarded as a very important market. The range at this time was quite varied thanks to Nissan having absorbed Prince Motor company the previous year, although some of the fruits of that merger were yet to appear… the C30 laurel and C10 Skyline.


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70s Nissan


At the start of the 1970s, Nissan was very busy developing all manner of advanced projects and concept cars. Fortunately for us, it was also very keen on producing quite elaborate and informative brochures depicting them. This one, from 1970, is absolutely packed with interesting stuff, although naturally the text is all in Japanese. There’s the wild concept cars from that year’s Tokyo Motorshow, the Nissan 126X, the E10 Cherry based 270X and the 315x electric car. There’s also some lesser known projects, such as the 130 based Cedric EL Special, which made use of complex (for 1970!) electronics technology and the 150 model President Proto-AX, which featured advanced emissions controls. There’s also Nissan’s experimental  gas turbine engine, a mention of air bags… and craziest of all… a steam powered 510 wagon! Plus, there’s a beautifully illustrated guide to Nissan’s model line up at the time. Click through to take a look…

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This French Datsun brochure is a slightly unusual one because, apart from it’s diminutive size at just 15cm by 7cm, it also has lovely illustrations of the cars rather than the usual photographs. Interestingly, in ’76 the Datsun E10 Cherry was still available in both 2 and 4 door form alongside the newer F10 Cherry models, although the latter seems to have dropped the “Cherry” name. Another thing I noticed is that the 710 only appears as an 160J SSS hardtop… were there no 710 saloons in France?! Click through to have a look…

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Nissan Planète Automobile

Nissan Planète Automobile is an amazing new publication from French publisher E-T-A-I and something I would regards as an essential purchase for any diehard Datsun fan. The author, Bernard Vermeylen, has covered a colossal amount of ground in this history of the marque, from the company’s early days at the beginning of the 20th century, right through to last year’s Nissan IDX concept. The book is absolutely packed with pictures, both in colour as well as black and white, and it’s by far the most comprehensive book I have seen, covering some really obscure models. Unusually, it also has a ‘world view’ as well, rather than placing emphasis on the authors home market as is often the case with books like this.

Of course, being from a French publisher the entire book est écrit en français , but don’t let that put you off if you can’t understand French… it’s a beautiful book to flick though purely for the pictures. Or look at it the way I do… it’s a great opportunity to learn or improve your French!

So far I have only seen this book for sale online via French websites, but I doubt it’d be difficult to get hold of. It’s not particularly cheap at 49€ but in my opinion it’s well worth the price. I’d just like to add a huge thank you to my Dutch friend and total Datsun nut Iwan for sending me my copy!

Click through for a brief peek inside Nissan  Planète Automobile and the details (ISBN# etc)…

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Datsun UK Range Ads

In the early 70’s, Datsun UK were pushing very hard to expand their market share. The growth from Datsun UK’s first full year of sales in 1971 was staggering. In 1971 they had sold 6,900 Datsuns, but in 1973 they sold over 60,000! By the time a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ was made in 1976 between the British government and the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) to limit imports, Datsun were outselling Toyota by three to one and they had over 6% of the entire UK market. This was helped in part by their marketing efforts at that time which were quite extensive. The adverts below featuring the Datsun UK range were part of a multi-page advertisement feature from Autocar magazine in 1973…